By Daniel Hunter
As the general election approaches, a campaign has been launched by The Movement Against Xenophobia to highlight the positive impact of migrants, to help "celebrate, not vilify" the contribution of immigration to the UK.
Through a series of posters and billboards on the London Underground and railway stations across the country, the posters state 'I am an immigrant', accompanied by the job descriptions of real migrants living and working in the UK.
In response, the Association of Translation Companies (ATC) has spoken out about the skills provided by migrants to the UK in sustaining our economy.
Dr Isabella Moore CBE, Council member of the ATC, Director of COMTEC and the first female president of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “With a number of political parties looking to cut the number of immigrants coming into the UK, we are seeing a growing tone of anti-immigration, and it’s important for us to take a step back and recognise the value of migrants to our economy.
"There has been a steady decline in the number of students in Britain studying foreign languages and as a result, simply relying on our home-grown talent of language skills is no longer sufficient in accommodating the needs of foreign language skills to UK businesses. These skills are fundamental to increasing exports potential and building the UK economy, yet we are facing a serious language skills shortage. This is an issue that costs an estimated 3 per cent of GDP per year and without support from migrants it is unlikely that we will be able to sustain our export sector.
“From emerging markets all around the world, immigration supplies us with a fantastic pool of foreign language talent, and as our SMEs venture into export markets and start to compete with larger more established exporters, these skills are essential to their success.
“We must acknowledge our economy’s dependence on migrants in providing these much-needed skills to our businesses or we will see our ambitions abroad suffer further."
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